My Favorite Week: 2018 Edition

GDC is next week! Things are nowhere near as crazy as last year when we were pitching 10 Crowns to at least ten different publishers (which is a subset of the thirty different publishers that I had any level of discussion with for the game). We met with Starbreeze for the first time during the show and signed a deal with them a few months later. Looking forward to sharing more about the game!

This year, I get to just enjoy the show and stockpile some more podcasts. This time, the line-up is Alexis Kennedy, Jon Ingold, Andy Schatz, and Josh Sawyer. I’ve got over a year’s worth of recordings – coming soon, a three-parter with Brian Reynolds! – so look for these episodes in late 2019, I guess.

I am giving a ten-minute talk on baseball’s dropped third-strike rule and creep denial in DOTA. The mini-talk will be part of Richard Rouse’s annual “Rules of the Game” series, which has a pretty impressive lineup this year. Hope to see you there!

Rules of the Game: Five Further Techniques from Rather Clever Designers


Richard Rouse III (Director/Designer/Writer, Paranoid Productions)
Erin Hoffman-John (CEO/Designer, Sense of Wonder)
Soren Johnson (CEO/Design Director, Mohawk Games)
Raph Koster (Designer, Independent)
Josh Sawyer (Director, Obsidian Entertainment)
Stone Librande (Lead Designer, Riot Games)

Location: Room 2010, West Hall
Date: Wednesday, March 21
Time: 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference
Topic: Design, Production & Team Management
Format: Session
Vault Recording: Video

How do you make your games work? There’s no sure-fire way to design great games, but over numerous successful projects the best designers develop techniques that help them craft compelling experiences. Returning for GDC 2018, the Rules of the Game session takes five renowned designers and asks them to go into detail about a rule they’ve used in their work. Each speaker has ten minutes to dive into their technique and provide detailed examples about how they have used the rule in past projects, honestly sharing the pluses and minuses including where their rule works well and where it may be less applicable. These are personal rules that you may not always agree with, but they’re guaranteed to provide interesting fodder for your own game design thoughts and help you build your own design rulebook.


Audience members will hear five very specific, practical, unique, and personal game design rules from veteran, respected game designers. Expect to leave with an interesting new set of design principles to try out on your own projects.

Intended Audience

This session is intended for intermediate to advanced game designers who are looking to expand their knowledge of game design craft and learn new ways to tackle challenges.

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